Anne Sexton

(9 November 1928 – 4 October 1974 / Newton, Massachusetts)

Baby Picture - Poem by Anne Sexton

It's in the heart of the grape
where that smile lies.
It's in the good-bye-bow in the hair
where that smile lies.
It's in the clerical collar of the dress
where that smile lies.
What smile?
The smile of my seventh year,
caught here in the painted photograph.

It's peeling now, age has got it,
a kind of cancer of the background
and also in the assorted features.
It's like a rotten flag
or a vegetable from the refrigerator,
pocked with mold.
I am aging without sound,
into darkness, darkness.

Anne,
who are you?

I open the vein
and my blood rings like roller skates.
I open the mouth
and my teeth are an angry army.
I open the eyes
and they go sick like dogs
with what they have seen.
I open the hair
and it falls apart like dust balls.
I open the dress
and I see a child bent on a toilet seat.
I crouch there, sitting dumbly
pushing the enemas out like ice cream,
letting the whole brown world
turn into sweets.

Anne,
who are you?

Merely a kid keeping alive.


Comments about Baby Picture by Anne Sexton

  • Ranjan Kumar Ghosh (9/22/2017 2:19:00 AM)


    Baby Poems: 1 / 100 next poem »
    Baby Picture - Poem by Anne Sexton

    Autoplay next poem
    It's in the heart of the grape
    where that smile lies.
    It's in the good-bye-bow in the hair
    where that smile lies.
    It's in the clerical collar of the dress
    where that smile lies.
    What smile?
    The smile of my seventh year,
    caught here in the painted photograph.

    It's peeling now, age has got it,
    a kind of cancer of the background
    and also in the assorted features.
    It's like a rotten flag
    or a vegetable from the refrigerator,
    pocked with mold.
    I am aging without sound,
    into darkness, darkness.

    Anne,
    who are you?

    I open the vein
    and my blood rings like roller skates.
    I open the mouth
    and my teeth are an angry army.
    I open the eyes
    and they go sick like dogs
    with what they have seen.
    I open the hair
    and it falls apart like dust balls.
    I open the dress
    and I see a child bent on a toilet seat.
    I crouch there, sitting dumbly
    pushing the enemas out like ice cream,
    letting the whole brown world
    turn into sweets.

    Anne,
    who are you?

    Merely a kid keeping alive.
    Baby Picture
    Anne Sexton
    Baby Poems: 1 / 100 next poem »

    Comments about Baby Picture by Anne Sexton

    Aisha Masha (12/15/2016 6: 09: 00 AM)
    This nice poem gives me imagination of a young family. Well done. (Report) Reply
    Soumya Ranjan Rout(9/18/2017 1: 28: 00 AM)
    This poem is touched my heart

    Mohammed Anas Affan (9/21/2016 1: 57: 00 AM)
    nice imagination.............beautiful thought....thanks for sharing (Report) Reply

    * Sunprincess * (8/9/2015 3: 24: 00 PM)
    ...incredible imagery...nicely written ★ (Report) Reply

    Read all 10 comments »
    Poems About Baby
    1.Baby Picture, Anne Sexton
    2.A Baby In The House, Ella Wheeler Wilcox
    3.Little Brown Baby, Paul Laurence Dunbar
    4.Baby Mine, Ernestine Northover
    5.The Lost Baby Poem, Lucille Clifton
    6.! Baby Love, Maybe Love, Michael Shepherd
    7.Baby Charley., Sidney Lanier
    8.(013) My Baby Cousin (Lovely Z.., Risha Ahmed (12 yrs)
    9.(022) Waiting For The Baby, Risha Ahmed (12 yrs)
    10.A Baby Asleep After Pain, David Herbert Lawrence
    11.Sweet Baby, Linda Ori
    12.His Wife And Baby, Isabella Valancy Crawford
    13.A Baby Running Barefoot, David Herbert Lawrence
    14.(l) 5 (My Baby) My Inner Sun, Renu Rakheja a.k.a Tranquil..
    15.(015) This Baby Is Wonderful., Risha Ahmed (12 yrs)
    16.Baby, hazem al jaber
    17.Baby, Listen To My Heart! , Sylvia Chidi
    18.To A Baby Firefly (Preschool) , C.J. Heck
    19.Baby Brother (Children) , C.J. Heck
    20.(904) Crack Baby, Melvina Germain
    21.Caroline-Just Their Baby Girl, Scarlet.....
    22.I Know A Baby, Such A Baby, Christina Georgina Rossetti
    23.Baby Eyes., Bernard Shaw
    24.Baby Sitter, Robert William Service
    25.Our New Baby (Children) , C.J. Heck
    26.Baby, Derrick Parsee10++++(+(++++
    27.(l) 6 (My Baby) A New Way Of Life, Renu Rakheja a.k.a Tranquil..
    (Report) Reply

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  • (12/15/2016 6:09:00 AM)

    Young family
    This nice poem gives me imagination of a young family. Well done. (Report) Reply

    Soumya Ranjan Rout Soumya Ranjan Rout (9/18/2017 1:28:00 AM)

    This poem is touched my heart

  • Mohammed Anas Affan (9/21/2016 1:57:00 AM)


    nice imagination.............beautiful thought....thanks for sharing (Report) Reply

  • (8/9/2015 3:24:00 PM)


    ...incredible imagery...nicely written ★ (Report) Reply

  • (10/6/2014 3:01:00 PM)


    Anne is such a beautiful soul...... yet tortured by some inability to fully enjoy her own self... I'm sad of that, but glad she lived to write things like this, things that we all feel at some point. I think if I had met her I would most want to have told her that I understand...... Someone coined her poetry as confessional, I suppose because it tends to explore inner thoughts, and self. (Report) Reply

  • Dawn Fuzan (4/28/2014 4:08:00 PM)


    Well constructed poem, its perfect (Report) Reply

  • Amy Marie (12/13/2010 5:02:00 PM)


    Very well written :) She is becoming one of my favorite poets. I wish she could still keep writing... (Report) Reply

  • (2/17/2010 9:12:00 PM)


    Sexton was a master at imagery. I love this poem, and would think it even better without the 'anne who are you...kid..alive.' ending. She's at her best when she hits and runs. (Report) Reply

  • (1/28/2009 8:44:00 AM)


    I like this poem....you have to just go with the flow on every line...very interesting! (Report) Reply

  • (10/27/2008 10:08:00 PM)


    Goes in too many different directions. Despite the Anne, who are you theme, the poem doesn't work for me. (Report) Reply

Read all 11 comments »




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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Poem Edited: Wednesday, August 11, 2010


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